State of the Arts

Caroline “Boo” Littlefield ’03 and Sam Beattie ’03, former Art Editors for The Phillipian, both know the ins and outs of PA’s most exclusive enclave – the arts. Their zealous passion for theater and nostalgic memories of The Phillipian give us all a little insight into a world where imagination prevails. Phillipian: How did you get involved with Phillipian Arts? CL: During my Lower fall, I attempted to involve myself in every single extracurricular activity on campus. So, I wrote to Nick Ma ’01 and let him know that I was interested in writing for Arts. I didn’t even subscribe to The Phillipian at the time and I had no idea how the paper “worked,” but I co-wrote a preview for “Parabox.” Eventually, I wrote enough articles and was named an Arts Associate. The rest is history. SB: Last winter, I was in The Prime of Ms. Jean Brody, directed by Care Van Zile ’02, and I got to know Care really well. One day she asked me if I’d be interested in writing for Arts, and I told her that I would give it a try. That spring, Cara encouraged me to apply for a board position. At first I was selected to be an Arts Associate. Then over the summer, I was promoted to Editor. Phillipian: What was your favorite part of being on the Phillipian board? CL: The friends that I have made on the board. Going into it, I would never have guessed that I’d become so close with everyone, but that’s what The Phillipian does; [it] brings random, overachieving students together to work on an enormous project for 28 weeks of our Andover careers. Through the late nights, the Domino’s runs, and a driving interest in journalism, I made some great friends. SB: The Phillipian has introduced me to a new passion: journalism. Through The Phillipian, I discovered a hidden interest in writing, which I intend to pursue in the future. In addition , The Phillipian provided weekly fulfillment. Each week, without fail, we completed our jobs and produced a magnificent paper. Mr. Smith used to say that he was amazed that there were never any blank spaces, and honestly, so was I. It was a great feeling knowing that we had met our deadline, even if it was down to the last hour. Phillipian: What was your favorite Arts article from last year’s Phillipian? CL: There were some very well-written articles, such as the review of “Romeo and Juliet” by Care Van Zile ’02, but I’d have to say that I really enjoyed running “The Vista Controversy.” It was a point/counterpoint in the Arts section in which two students argued as to whether or not some vandalism in the “Sitelines” exhibit could be considered art. Running those articles made me feel pseudo avant-garde – as if I should be wearing a beret or something. SB: Last term, Steve Traversio ’04 wrote a sensational review on “Speak the Rain Words.” It was exceptional in its prose and its unconventional critique. Steve brought to light both the negative and positive aspects of the play, allowing the actors to grow from that criticism, myself included. As an actor and as an Arts writer, I want to applaud his daring and exceptional insight in that article. Phillipian: Your involvement in arts extends beyond The Phillipian. What other art programs have you been involved in? CL: Theater is something I have ardently pursued. I started off acting in little theater classrooms. I finally got my proverbial big break when I landed a spot in the Scotland show my Lower year (“Parabox”). Later, I was cast in the improv troupe, the Dance Open, and then as the nurse in “Romeo and Juliet.” Right now, I’m working on “All My Sons.” SB: Since last fall, I have participated in seven productions, including “The Prime of Ms. Jean Brody,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “The Real Inspector Hound,” “The Complete History Abridged,” “Speak the Rain Words,” and finally a brief appearance in “Uncommon Women and Others.” I have also developed a passion for painting and drawing. The library bought one of my pieces last year. I hid it well though – one day someone at The Phillipian was taken aback by a drawing of mine. Phillipian: Were you interested in the arts before you came to Andover? CL: I was really into theater before I came to Andover. I was one of those nerds who liked to listen to show tunes in my room and think of how cool it would be to be on Broadway. I used to work with sound and lighting, but at PA I wanted to be a superstar, so I stayed with acting. SB: Again like Boo, before coming to Andover I had an interest in theater. At home I was in two “major” productions and three small productions; however, even the big productions were not comparable to Andover’s. Phillipian: How has Andover developed your interest in the arts? CL: Different faculty members have pushed me, in their own way, to stay interested in theater. Mr. Heelan with his incredible directing techniques (and sense of humor) made performing Shakespeare one of my best Andover experiences. Ms. St. Pierre, a teacher I’ve known since my freshman year, helped me appreciate the work of playwright Arthur Miller, such as “Death of a Salesman” and “All My Sons.” Ms. Wombwell gave me a chance to let my creative juices flow on the Scotland tour. Finally, Mark Efinger kept me modest during English 311, forcing me to work harder and not settle for mediocrity. SB: Andover allowed me to pursue theater in depth. The amazing faculty members in the Theater Department and facilities allowed me to mature as an actor. Also, Andover allowed me to both act and row, something I could not do at home. Phillipian: Are you planning to pursue the arts in college…or even later on? CL: I want theater to be a part of my life in one way or another.I definitely want to keep acting in college, but it’s a risky business. I can’t say that I will major in it. SB: I am definitely going to continue writing and acting in college. Most likely I will take theater as a minor or a double major. There is no way I am going to stop acting. If theater remains a huge part of my life, I might apply to a drama college. Right now, it looks like that might be a possibility.